Hampshire Flag has invested in a Mimaki JFX 200-2513 EX UV LED flatbed printer from CMYUK. The company, which is celebrating 40 years in business this year, has traditionally been known for its wide-format fabric printing, but it does also print onto vinyl which it mounts onto substrates such as Foamex and Corex for a small number of clients. 

‘Increasingly customers were asking for more of this type of work,’ explained Hampshire Flag’s sales manager, Rod Sessions. ‘It was becoming more time consuming. We felt the need to go faster but also open ourselves up to more opportunities within the signage market. We are known as a flag and fabric manufacturer but felt we could easily become a signage manufacturer. We just needed the right equipment to help us do this efficiently and quickly.’

Historically signage has accounted for 5 – 10% of Hampshire Flag’s business, but the company has long been aware of the possibilities. ‘We’ve always looked at the huge market potential of signage and thought we’d like a piece of it,’ added Mr Sessions. ‘It’s nothing too different from what we’re doing but because of the machinery we have at the moment, our price point for this type of work isn’t competitive enough. There was no point us doing a signage tender because with our existing kit, we’d be priced out of the market, hence the motivation to purchase the new flatbed.’

Covid has further accelerated Hampshire Flag’s diversification drive. During the pandemic period the company established a web presence and started to look at opportunities within personalised gifting. ‘We felt that with the Pandemic there would be a trend towards personalised and customised gifting,’ concluded Mr Sessions. ‘We’ve positioned ourselves favourably here to meet the additional revenue streams bought about by market demand. Again, the JFX 200- 2513 EX will help us with this and we’ve got the expertise in-house to do it.’